Self-improvement: Why do looks matter?
More often than not, looks can mean everything. We’re always telling each other things like “look good, feel good” or “clothes make the man”. What used to be just a way for us to remind each other to look our best is actually something that rings scientifically true: clothes really can affect your mood and confidence, even the way you are perceived by others.
This phenomenon, called Enclothed Cognition, is the effect our attire can have on our psychological processes, even our interactions with other people. In other words, enclothed cognition is how we make judgements on other people based on the clothes they wear by associating them with symbolic meanings: for example, we associate uniforms with authority, and formal wear with intelligence.
In this article, we tell you how to use the perceptions that come with enclothed cognition to your advantage, and how to dress to feel confident and make a great first impression with everyone that you meet.
How to look smart the right way
How important is it to ‘dress for success’? This turn of phrase is typically used in the context of wearing business outfits, and business outfits are associated with power, wealth, and success, but can mean just to look neat, to dress smartly.
However, if you’re looking to look smart, the trick is not to dress expensively, just to dress smart. Dressing smartly and knowing that you look neat, sharp and put together has a great effect on your self-esteem and can boost your self image.
There are a few ways you can go about dressing smart. One of the ways to start is to consider dark shades for your outfit. Darker colors are always the safest option to look smart and stay casual. If you already have an outfit in mind but you’re worried it looks too casual, try swapping out one of the pieces of your outfit for say, a black jacket, or black slacks. When in doubt, choose darker shades to balance an outfit out.
Another thing to remember is to wear an outfit with pieces that look sleek and smart. If slacks are too formal, try opting for a pair of crisp jeans or even well fitting, opaque leggings that are fit for the office, paired off with clean white sneakers and a blazer. As long as all the pieces of your ensemble are neatly kept and pressed.
How looking smart can go wrong
Before you start reading about dressing smart, you’ll want to know what to avoid. First, know your sizes. If you wear something that isn’t a flattering cut or a size too big, you may end up looking frumpy and awkward. Another thing to avoid is to try not to look too casual: a good rule of thumb is to remember to choose clothes that are not too old, or too worn in.
Swap your favorite, comfy shirt for a crisp blouse or a sweater. Make sure your clothes are always neat, pressed, and fit well. And finally, make sure to wear clothes that you feel confident in. If you go out of your comfort zone with clothes that you don’t feel good in, it will show. You may act a little stiffly, try to make yourself small, and feel awkward- and people will definitely be able to tell.
Remember that if you want to look smart, you’ll have to commit. Start doing things outside of your comfort zone to build your confidence, start reading more often, and add development and self help books to your shelf. Stop wasting your time with things that don’t expand your horizons or help you achieve your dreams. You can boost your confidence through fashion with liftlegging.com. Once you start making strides towards self development that goes beyond dressing better, you’ll be able to pull off any look with the confidence of someone with a strong self image